Photos and story By Fr. Gene Tremblay, OMI St. Joseph the Worker Shrine
On Mission Sunday, October 22, five men pledged year-long commitments as Oblate Associates during the noon Mass at St. Joseph the Worker Shrine in Lowell, Massachusetts. Fr. Terry O’Connell, OMI, the Director of the Shrine and Superior of the Lowell Mission Center witnessed their commitments, invested them with their symbolic Oblate crosses and welcomed them as new members of the Mazenodian family.
The Five new Oblate Associates are: Donald Desfosse, James Savarese Jr., Clayton Boutet, Edward Oliveri, Paul Pearsall.
For one year, Fr. Piotr Dudek, OMI shepherded these men through a monthly program of instruction and prayer leading to this commitment ceremony. Fittingly, Fr. Dudek was the celebrant of the Mass that received them into the Oblate family.
These newly minted Associates will continue to meet each month to nurture their commitments and imbibe more of the spirituality of St. Eugene de Mazenod, the Founder of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.
All present were reminded that becoming an Oblate Associate is a missionary commitment that is open to any man, woman or young adult who feels the call to enliven their baptismal promises in witness and outreach to those around them who seem least touched by the Gospel – “the poor with their many faces.” Once a sufficient number of folks express an interest in learning more about possibly becoming an Oblate Associate, a new round of year-long instructional meetings will be inaugurated here at the Shrine.